We see a dynamic, resilient, racially-just and sustainable food system emerging in communities across the country. Leading this change are thousands of individuals, organizations, and businesses working in all parts and at all scales of the food system. We envision these leaders linked through a living network of shared purpose, learning, and action that advances social justice locally, regionally, and nationally.
The goal of the network is to accelerate the realization of a just, equitable, and sustainable food system that generates good food, health, and opportunity for all.
Through the network, we cultivate relationships of trust and solidarity among food systems leaders – at the local, regional, and national level – and provide a platform for sharing knowledge and skill, building collective power and purpose, and acting collaboratively to transform the food system.
- Skilling Up: we develop and offer an accessible and varied suite of opportunities for leaders to deepen their professional skills and organizational capacity via virtual and in-person learning settings that are both peer- and expert-led. Click here to see all opportunities available to FSLN members.
- Network weaving: we facilitate an inclusive, diverse, and robust network of food systems leaders, and encourage relationship building, information exchange, collaboration, and co-learning through stories, examples, and mutual support.
- Strategic partnerships: we collaborate with community-based, regional, and national allies to align movement strategies, leverage our resources and skills, and increase access to ideas, expertise, and innovations
Our work is guided by a deep belief in and respect for the lived experience, expertise, and creativity of the people and communities working to build healthy, equitable, racially-just and sustainable food systems, especially those most impacted by the dominant, extractive, industrial system.
We believe that, collectively, within these food systems leaders lies the knowledge, power, and potential to realize systems change.
We advocate for “leadership in every seat.” Everyone has the capacity to lead using their own unique talents and aspirations, regardless of their position, age, gender, physical ability, class, or race.
We believe that food systems leadership is realized when a group of people harmonize their vision for the future they want to create and align their actions so that the sum of what they do together far exceeds what any one individual or organization can do alone.
To achieve this kind of transformational, systems leadership, we believe a unique set of skills must be cultivated and nurtured in every person: the ability to see and understand the system we are trying to change, the ability to facilitate reflection, dialogue, and coordinated action, and the ability to serve as a leader grounded in racial and social equity, radical inclusion, and a shared vision for the future.
We see networks as a key strategy for realizing this kind of collective action and systems leadership. We strive to democratize access to all opportunities created through this network, emphasizing support to leaders and organizations from black, brown, indigenous, and other communities of color as well as historically disinvested communities.